I was accosted by an octogenarian while browsing the library stacks. I’d have shushed him, but his sparky blue eyes and tough-guy barrel chest thwarted my snap judgmental dismissive instincts. During our three minute conversation (soliloquy really…my side of the conversation amounted to me saying uh-huh twice), Mr. 81 unveiled/shouted two noteworthy items.
On a “wild and crazy” (his words) week-long Ocean City family vacation, all three of his daughters got pregnant.
As a teenager, a ne’er-do-well soured his taste for basketball. The offending character was famed for bending down, mid-rebound, and pulling out his opponent’s leg hairs.
I do not know what to make of these things.
Twenty minutes later I checked out one of the greatest novels I have ever read – A House for Mr Biswas. Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul effectively recorded my life, changed the setting and dates, then jumped into a time machine and publish his findings (1961). Alas, for all my raves I can’t think of a single person for whom I would recommend the book. My dad, maybe. It was ultimately written for me alone. In 2001 Mr. Naipaul won the Nobel Prize, largely on the strength of this book. Perhaps I’m not the only one who has enjoyed this book.